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New funding to stop the cycle of abuse at a young age

11 August 2021

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, has welcomed additional government funding of £495,471 to work with families and young people demonstrating abusive behaviours within their relationships and stop the cycle of abuse at an early age.

The funding will be split across a variety of programmes that work with young people who have been, or are showing signs of, abusive behaviours in their relationships either within the family or with a partner.

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) in the year ending March 2020 an estimated 7.3% of women (1.6 million) and 3.6% of men (757,000) experienced Domestic Abuse. Women aged 16 to 19 years were more likely to be victims of any Domestic Abuse in the last year than women aged 25 years and over.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, said: “Historically domestic abuse services have been designed for adults.

“We have seen an increase in abusive relationships of young people, many of whom have experienced forms of abuse themselves.

“The funding will help us to support young people to deal with trauma; to manage conflict and learn how to sustain respectful and supportive relationships.

“Safeguarding and supporting victims of abuse is a priority as is working with the abuser. Once someone recognises their behaviour is harmful, we can work to prevent them repeating the behaviour increasing their chances of happiness in future relationships.”


Projects to be funded include:

A bespoke trauma-informed intervention for Young People aged 16-24 years who are showing signs of being abusive in their relationships. Adult perpetrator programmes can be ill equipped to respond to the unique characteristics of adolescent relationships. This new programme run by the Hampton Trust is specifically designed to meet the challenge of needing to address both complex trauma histories and abusive behaviour. With social Workers reporting high volumes of young fathers with children on care plans, the Caring Dads programme focuses on teaching child-centred fathering alongside developing the young men’s ability to engage in respectful, non-abusive co-parenting with their children’s mothers and to acknowledge the impact of trauma associated with Domestic Abuse on children.

Adolescent to Parent/carer violence and abuse (APV) programmes. A number of studies identify the problem of APV to be escalating and there is concern that it is also under-reported. APV affects parents in a number of ways, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, physical health problems and issues within family relationships. A one-size-fits-all approach would not meet the diverse needs of many families experiencing APV and therefore a range of interventions are to be funded including:

  • Portsmouth City Council’s Whole Family Approach addressing complex family dynamics;
  • Hampshire County Council’s pilot of the Great Behaviour Breakdown (a therapeutic parenting approach that helps the most difficult family situations to find stability and healing);
  • Yellow Door’s Systemic Family Therapy;
  • An APV Lead at Stop Domestic Abuse to deliver one-to-one support;
  • A Family Support Worker at Youth Options to work with families on issues such as housing, school concerns, general parenting concerns in order to reduce conflict and challenging behaviour.